Honoring Parents Category
Today’s Mom Monday brings us Megan from Newly Wed, Newly Bred blog. She is mom to the ever-so-cute “Chunky Monkey.” We enjoyed having the chance to catch up with Megan and get a glimpse into her life as a SAHM.
Your blog name, Newly Wed, Newly Bred captures a whirlwind year in your life. Do you feel like your first year of marriage & motherhood has been a bit of a roller coaster?
Yes, definitely! We were married on 10/27/07, and Carson was born 10/27/08!! So, our first anniversary was celebrated on an OR table, welcoming 11lbs 3oz of hugeness into our family! Our first year of marriage was SO focused on the pregnancy, because I had a high risk/difficult pregnancy. We definitely jumped right into parenthood. I guess that means less time was focused on our marriage, but it has absolutely been the right choice for us!
What has been the biggest change for you as a SAHM?
I think the staying at home part! It’s strange not having to set an alarm, have to get up and prepare for a day at work. Well, I guess I do, but I’ve never had a job where sweatpants and a spit up stained t shirt is the appropriate apparel! Once you get past the sleep deprived newborn days, you have to find a routine that works for you. For me, not having other adult interaction was really challenging. That is probably the biggest reason I started my blog. I felt like I needed to be able to interact with other adults, and other Moms, especially. I mean come on, when you get the babe up in the morning and find your hubby has put his cloth diaper on BACKWARDS, you really want somebody to tell the story to, you know?
As “Chunky Monkey” heads into toddlerhood, how would you say your style of parenting is changing?
I think parenting is an ever evolving process. You go into it with all the ideas of how you will and won’t raise that impending bundle of joy. And then that tiny, bald, screaming dictator takes over your world, and you do what you have to, to ensure he or she is happy. Or, what keeps YOU happy. I always said I would never keep the baby in our room long. He had a room, he could sleep there. We had a monitor, he’d be fine! Fast forward four and a half months, and I shed some tears as he spent his first night ever in his crib!
Toddlerhood is more of the same…. A treacherous tight rope walk of choices and decisions that you are forced to make in split seconds. You hope your choices will result in a happy well adjusted kid, but in the back of your mind you are always wondering if taking away (insert whatever they shouldn’t be eating/throwing/playing with) and making them cry will turn them into the next Ted Bundy of the world!
Luckily, toddlerhood is filled with much more giggles, smiles and kisses for Mama, so when you are just POSITIVE you have scarred them for life, they turn around and let you know that you aren’t doing such a shabby job after all!
Any advice for newlyweds who want to start a family within their first year of marriage?
Be sure you are happy and adjusted as a couple, before you add a new person to the mix! We were extremely lucky, and we were happy and well adjusted. We sort of did things backwards… dated and moved in together, then built our house together, got settled in and THEN got engaged and married. By that time, we had spent a lot of time as a couple, and knew what we wanted. Do what works for you, regardless of what others say.
Oh, and be prepared to spend your first anniversary as big as a house, splayed out on an OR table!! It’s ok though, somebody can sneak in a bottle of champagne, and you can still celebrate in style!
Now for a quick glance into Megan’s life.
What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas, hands down! It’s actually the lead up TO Christmas. The snow outside, picking out and decorating the tree, watching Christmas specials on TV. I love all of it!
What is something “Chunky Monkey” does that makes you laugh? I swear he does something new every day that makes me laugh! He is a climber, which always results in a mini stroke and a laugh simultaneously. If things get quiet, I know to go look for him, and I can usually find him with his cowboy hat on his head, guitar in hand, dancing on top of the coffee or dining room tables!
What’s your favorite “no-fuss” meal that you fall back on when things are really hectic? Uh, would the answer your looking for be Jimmy Johns? I won’t lie. When it’s crazy or hectic, we order out! You can’t get much easier than punching in a phone number and ordering a number 8 and a number 12!
What is your guilty pleasure? Teen shows that I am WAAAY too old for, like ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager. I mean… really? I’ll be 30 years old in less than a month, and yet I am more than happy to curl up with some Ben & Jerry’s Chubby Hubby and waste an hour of my life watching stuff like that!
It’s been great getting to know you Megan. Thanks for sharing your insights with us!
*Photo credit Dusek Photography
Today we are throwing a “curve ball” into our Mom Mondays and are interviewing a “Northern Neighbor” – Calgary Daddy. We love Calgary daddy’s sense of humor, take on parenting and wisdom as he travels through fatherhood. We present to you our first dad on Kolcraft’s Mom Mondays!
We love the story of how you met your wife. Was it love at first sight in first grade?
I often joke to everyone that she had the BIGGEST crush on me in 1983. I know that she used to sneak little glances over my way! To be honest, Becky does not even remember me from Grade 1. (or so she says…..lol.)
And now you are parents to a beautiful baby boy. You talk about your wife becoming your hero after she gave birth to Kyron. What was it like being present at your son’s birth?
It was both amazing and surreal at the same time. Everything happened so fast and I was just overwhelmed by the situation. Your adrenaline is going so fast and it is so hard to explain. It was so emotional to finally see Kyron in person. I will never forget the moment or the feeling that came with it.
What have you learned after 2 months of parenting?
That being a Mom is probably one the hardest and most important jobs in the whole world. I am amazed at how natural parenthood has come to my wife. It is really a 24-hour-a-day job being a mom. No matter how “hands-on” I try to be, I will never be able to do what Becky does on a daily basis!
What has been your greatest joy of fatherhood?
The most amazing thing to me is seeing Kyron smile at me when he wakes up in the morning! I am also intrigued when I try to imagine who he is going to be when he grows up.
How about your biggest challenge?
Personally, I think that keeping up with all of the information out there is the biggest challenge in my opinion! Parenting advice seems to differ depending on who you talk to or what you read. Trying to make sure you are doing everything correctly is the biggest challenge for me. That and trying to fit Kyron’s arms into his sleepers!
Now for a quick glance into Shane’s life.
What is your “top dream” for Kyron? That he grows up to be a good man.
What is your “wildest dream” for him? That he becomes Prime Minister of Canada! (You heard it here first folks!)
If you had a free weekend with your wife & could take her anywhere, where would you go & why?
I would take her to either Tahiti or Hawaii! These are her top 2 vacation destinations and we didn’t get to go before Kyron was born.
Favorite thing to do when you have “guy time”? Go to Calgary Flames Hockey Games. (We are Blackhawks fans here, but we certainly respect Canada & their true love of all things hockey.)
Shane, it was great talking with you.
If you haven’t seen Shane’s blog, head on over. You will love our Northern neighbor’s take on life as a dad.
Remember Michelle LaRowe – the mom, nanny and author who we featured last Mom Monday? A few days after our interview, she had her second child. We couldn’t be happier for her and welcome her beautiful baby boy. Luke LaRowe (great Hollywood name) weighed in at 8lbs, 3 ounces and 19 inches long!
How often do you meet someone who is a mom, nanny, writer, speaker, parenting consultant (we are talking all sorts of practical parenting tips, ideas, methods – you name it!) and fun person all rolled up in one? We found this person in Michelle LaRowe and we had to introduce her to our Kolcraft readers. Grab a cup of tea, coffee, mommy juice or whatever your beverage of choice & enjoy your read.
Michelle, you have had a colorful career as a national speaker, parenting consultant, and author – where did you get your start?
I think my love of working with children has really come from my mom. I remember helping her in the church nursery when I was little and then babysitting when I grew old enough. At 12 or 13, I remember sitting for one church family that had 5 kids under age 6, talk about hands on training! Through my high school years I babysat for all of my teachers and then I worked as a nanny while I was attending college pursuing a degree in chemistry. During my junior year, I realized I didn’t really want to be a chemist. In fact, what I enjoyed doing most was what I was already doing – working with children. I began researching the nanny industry and discovered that there was a whole professional world of in-home child care providers, nanny organizations and nanny placement agencies. The day after I received my Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry, I started working as a nanny with a set of newborn twins. I was there until the family relocated nearly 7 years later.
You’re a nanny. Tell us a little about the “nanny world” – challenges and joys.
Only another nanny truly understands the joys and struggles that come along with our career path. Many professional nannies will tell you we don’t choose to be a nanny. It chooses us. It’s something you do because you love, not because you can’t do anything else. It’s the most rewarding job, but at the same time, it can pose the greatest of emotional challenges. You have to constantly walk the line of being part of the family, but not. It’s the only job that you sign up for where the ultimate promotion is being let go because you’re no longer needed.
Unfortunately, the media has really misused the term nanny over the years so the public often has a misconception about what a true professional nanny is. Today’s nanny is an educated professional with a working knowledge and genuine love of children. We partner with parents in raising emotionally, socially, physically and intellectually healthy children and support the parents on their parenting journey.
What are 3 of the most important things for someone to consider when they are looking at options for childcare?
- You have to know who is watching your kids. Whether a daycare provider or a professional nanny, you have to invest the time and energy in screening your caregiver and developing a relationship with them.
- You have to evaluate your situation. Childcare isn’t one size fits all. You have to take into consideration your need for flexibility, your budget, your parenting philosophies and more when choosing childcare. Many parents believe hiring a nanny is not in their price range, but for dual income parents with young children, hiring a nanny can often be more cost effective then daycare because parents aren’t paying for two slots and they aren’t paying added fees for extended days. They’re also not forced to find backup coverage when the provider is unavailable or for when the children are mildly ill and unable to attend, which is important for some working parents.
- You have to trust your provider. If you don’t feel like you’ve left your child in loving, capable hands, you’re not going to be able to do your job successfully. It’s so important that you trust the person who is caring for your children. You should have confidence in their skills, experience and knowledge and should have confidence that they’ll follow your rules and adhere to your parenting style. Your children will also sense if you feel confident towards your caregiver. If you appear confident during drop off time, your child will sense that he’ll be safe, he’ll feel secure and the transition will be so much sweeter.
You are a mom yourself – how has your role as parent informed your nanny role & your parenting role informed your nanny role?
A good nanny loves the children like they are her own, but knows that they are not. People always say to me “It must be so different having a child of your own.” For me, the truth is so far, it’s really not. When you consider I cared for the same children for 50 hours per week for so many years, I’d think they’d be something wrong with me if I didn’t love them as my own. While obviously they weren’t mine, they were my responsibility for much of their early years and I took that responsibility as seriously as I do the responsibility of raising my own child.
That said, the skills and tools that I’ve gained and developed over the years have certainly prepared me to be a better mom. For example, while as a mom I may have wanted to rock my baby to sleep and then put her in her crib, as a nanny I knew that wasn’t best for her. I knew she needed to learn to self soothe and to develop solid sleep habits and I knew what life would be like if she didn’t develop those skills.
So when I’m struggling with how to handle a situation, whether it be weaning from the bottle or handling a temper tantrum in the store, the nanny in me always wins out.
You are an author of Nanny to the Rescue! Working Mom’s 411 and your latest A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists. I have read A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists and I LOVE it. I’m a list freak & found this book so hands-on. Where do you come up with all this info? What is the biggest benefit of this book? What’s your favorite section in the book?
I really enjoyed putting together my list book. I am an organizational nut and find I function best when I can find everything I need in one neat and orderly place.
One of the first things I do with any family I work for is to create a family binder. This binder serves as the family information hub and contains everything from emergency contact lists, to clothing sizes to the answers to common parenting questions to sleeping and eating guidelines. It contains really anything I need to know about the family, the family lifestyle and the family home and it quickly becomes a resource to all members of the family.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I began creating my own family binder. I had an “ah ha” moment and thought “wow, this would be a great resource for new parents.” That’s how A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists was born.
Having a degree in chemistry, it should be no surprise that I like data and information. I also enjoy doing research. With all the information at our fingertips these days, it takes time and energy to sort through and pick out the best information. I did the work for parents and included the most up to date information from the most respected and reliable parenting sources.
Asking me to pick a favorite section is like asking me to name a favorite child. I think all the lists are beneficial and provide a great starting point for parents to create and customize their own family lists.
With all that you are juggling – mom, wife, writer, speaker, etc. etc.- how do you keep your sanity?
I keep lists! I find having lists allows me to organize and prioritize. I also like the sense of accomplishment I feel when items get checked off of my lists. I also break my days into manageable segments and set aside time for play and work.
Having a wonderfully supportive husband who is an equal parenting partner also doesn’t hurt. He does his share of childrearing and household management so I can continue on with my career.
Finally what is your advice to parents?
Have more confidence in your parenting abilities and skills. Most parents know what they should do, they just have a hard time implementing. They often feel guilty for saying no or don’t want their children to be mad at them so they go against their gut. You are in charge! You are the boss!
Now for a quick glance into Michelle’s life
What is the one thing you look forward to everyday?
Gosh, that is a bad question to ask a lady who is due with a baby any day! Lately it’s been a chocolate croissant. But seriously, what I look forward to most each day is spending time with my family. I love watching my daughter discover her world and I love introducing her to new things. I love when my husband comes home and my daughter asks for kisses. We call it double kisses and we both smother her cheeks with love while she laughs hysterically and asks for more.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it?
I don’t know what I’d do with a day all to myself with nothing to do. I’d probably go crazy.
I think I live everyday like it’s a free day. I am fortunate enough to be in a position where I am able to choose my commitments and obligations. I make my own schedule and have the flexibility to spend time with my family. If I want to take my daughter to the beach in the middle of the day, I can. I am living a great life. God has been very good to our family.
Bill Cosby once said “You got to figure out what you love to do then figure out how to get paid for it.” I feel like that’s what I’ve done, so I don’t ever really feel like I am working.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
I don’t think I’d ever like to live outside Massachusetts. I love it here.
What is your favorite activity with kids?
I enjoy making music with children. I love introducing them to instruments and encouraging them to experience music. Music can change a child from being in a bad mood to a good one instantaneously.
I also enjoy establishing traditions with children. For example, each Christmas we head to the pottery store and create a special Christmas ornament for the family tree. Each fall, we head to the apple orchards and return home to make apple pies. Each summer, we host a big backyard bbq. I think traditions give children a sense of security and help them feel connected to their families and loved ones.
Thanks for your insight and wisdom Michelle. It’s been great getting to know you.
Have you ever wondered how your child sees the world? What their perceptions are of what they see? You can catch a glimpse of their world while creating memories by making memory albums. Memory albums are photo albums that your child can put together of trips or special days out with family.
What you need:
- Journal or notebook (If you want to be a little fancier you can get supplies from a scrap-booking store)
- Crayons or markers
- Non-toxic glue stick or photo corners
- Camera (You can get disposable cameras if your child is younger & prone to dropping things or if your child is older, he/she can use the family camera)
When you go on a vacation, a special trip to the zoo, see Grandparents or even just explore in your own neighborhood, give your child the camera to take pictures of what (or who) catches their eye. After the outing develop the pictures. Don’t wait too long to develop them as your child may forget why she/he took that photo. Once developed, have your child put them in the journal or notebook. They can they write a little caption (if they are too young to write, you can help them out) of what memory they have with that photo.
It’s a fun way to learn what your child finds important or beautiful in “their world.” Make sure you keep these as they will be fun to put out at graduation parties, weddings or other life events when they are older.
What ways do you capture and make memories from your child’s world?
This week, our Mom Monday series features the co-founder of My Mommy Manual, Suzanne Tucker, a.k.a. Zen Mommy. (Try saying Mom Monday with My Mommy Manual’s mom of multiples 5 times fast!) She co-creates this online mommy community that includes online events and giveaways, a Yogi Parenting course and “practical and inspired tips” for parents. Suzanne is also the proud new mommy of twins!
You are one of the creators of MyMommyManual.com. How did your website come about?
That’s a great story. Ria and I actually met at a hospital. We were both there to support one of our close friends who was delivering her first child. So while our mutual BFF, Emma, was laboring (for 36 long hours with no meds I might add!) we were having a slumber party in the waiting room… complete with pizza, yoga, tarot cards and The Devil Wears Prada on DVD. As we prayed and sent our friend good vibs to hang in there, our friendship was born. It was from this place of loving and supporting each other in motherhood that My Mommy Manual was born as well. I became “Zen Mommy” as I love to talk/write about all things spiritual and inspirational while Ria, ever my practical friend, took on the pen name “Practical Mommy”.
How have you been able to connect with other moms through your site?
My Mommy Manual is unique to other mom sites. Our tag line is “connecting you with practical and inspired tips” and we take these words to heart in everything we do. Ria and I and all the contributing writers on MMM not only share tips – we share our lives. In my work I am deeply inspired by the words of Henri Nouwen, “Our lives are not our own… they are for us to share.” Good experiences, challenging experiences… on MMM we share them all and our readers share back!
Because we are always pushing the envelope in using technology to “connect” with our community, we host a lot of live online events. In fact, we’re having one tomorrow to launch a parenting course. It’s called Yogi Parenting. I’m excited because I also get to introduce my six week old babies (Hadley and Colin) to our online peeps.
Can you tell us more about Yogi Parenting and the Party?
Sure. Yogi Parenting is a positive approach to parenting which Ria, myself and long time educator and Yoga Kids Certified Instructor Michaela Turner created. We’ve been teaching parenting classes live in St. Louis for years. We’re excited to launch this online version as it makes Yogi Parenting available to parents all over the world. Unlike many parenting classes, it’s convenient, accessible AND affordable. The launch party will be online tomorrow, March 16. And through March 29th we are offering the course at the charter enrollment price of 50% off. Check it out here.
You have two girls, seven and nine years old, & now five week old twins. What has been your greatest joy of motherhood?
My kids make me slow down and smell the flowers. All kids do I think…. They are SO good at being HERE NOW. That has been the greatest gift of being a mom… slowing down in my life long enough to catch the occasional glimpse of the here and now.
How about your biggest challenge?
Ha. Is it fair to say ditto to what I said above??? Biggest challenge… I’d have to say being present. By that I mean being able to let go and give up control (or at least what I thought I controlled) over what is happening right here… right now in my life. I am ever learning to accept life as it comes, moment by moment, curve balls and all. This acceptance stuff is sometimes easier said than done.
Have you had an “Ah-ha” mom moment that you can share with us?
Yes. It came after much pain and heartache. After five miscarriages hoping to have a third child, I finally had this profound ah-ha moment that I AM NOT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF MY LIFE.
Here’s what happened: I had just lost our fifth baby and went for a walk on a beautiful fall day. During that walk I think I had my first real taste of what it means to be fully present. I was walking, I was breathing… and then it just happened.
In that moment I wasn’t a woman who had just miscarried. I wasn’t even a woman. I just was. I felt this deep connection to the earth and all the beauty that surrounded me. It was in that split second of peace and love that a voice inside me said “YOU ARE NOT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF YOUR LIFE… YOU ARE LIFE. YOU ARE LOVE. YOU CAN LOVE THIS DAY.”
I like to think it was my sweet baby angel whispering to my heart, giving me this gift of awareness. It has changed my life.
You have some great reviews of various products on your blog. What would you say is the “must have” baby product?
Hmmm. I’d say my iphone. Is that crazy? Really though-it’s so easy to feel isolated as a new mom, and I did at times, especially with my first born nine years ago when iphone technology was not even on the radar.
All those hours alone in my home nursing those first few months almost drove me insane. It was such a shift from how my life had been owning my own business and working full time as a Physical Therapist.
This go around has been so different, largely because of the great online mommy community I am able to access at the touch of a button on my iphone. I post pics on Facebook, I tweet with friends on twitter (that are awake when I am for 2am feedings!) and DM my sister day and night who has a five month old in Seattle. I do all this while nursing not one but two babies! I just feel so much love and support this go around… so connected. And moms, if you can’t get an iphone, at the very least, be sure you’re a member of My Mommy Manual. *Wink* The support we can tap into online as moms is truly amazing. We are NOT alone!!!
Any advice for first-time parents?
Hmm. Again. Look up to the last question. My advice is “You are not alone!” so be sure to access support from all around you; family and friends, online communities like My Mommy Manual… pay for it if you have to!!! Cleaning ladies, frozen food, paper plates, doula’s etc… just get yourself support, especially in those first few months. If you are feeling isolated, you have to talk to someone. Community is essential to parenting. Essential. You know the saying “It takes a village”? Well, it’s true.
Now for a quick glance into Zen Mommy’s life
What is the book currently by your bedside? Which one?!?! Ha. OK… I’ll go with Allen Watt’s The Way of Zen. Love it. Have read it many times.
What’s your favorite holiday? Mother’s Day. Is that wrong?
What song always motivates you? Easy. Ray Lamontagne “Let It Be Me”. For me, that song explains all of life.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it? I would go on a Yin Yoga retreat somewhere out in nature… it could be in St. Louis or in Colorado… just so I’m doing yoga, breathing and enjoying the earth, the wind and the sky.
You favorite saying? “What is most personal is most universal” – Henri Nouwen. This is what has me share my life so publicly online as Zen Mommy.
What’s one thing on your list of dreams to accomplish? To be present for 25 seconds in a row. I’m still working at it.
Thank you “Zen Mommy” for taking time out of your very busy schedule to talk with us. We look forward to your party tomorrow & meeting the twins!
Did you ever wonder what it was like for your mom while she was pregnant with you? How you acted as toddler? How your parents adjusted to being new parents? Perhaps your mom, dad or grandparents left photos or a diary behind for you to read. Or maybe you had to rely on asking them questions about your childhood.
One thing you can do for your own child is give them the gift of their legacy. Write monthly letters to your baby while you are expecting and store them in a safe place. (If your baby is already born, it’s not too late to start! Every stage has its own joys and challenges that you can record.) Continue doing this until they hit a significant milestone such as marriage or having their own child. You can then give these letters to them as a very personalized and meaningful gift!
What ways have you been able to capture your first moments with your child? Will you share that with your baby when he/she is older?
Recently we had the chance to catch up with Kristin from Our Ordinary Life. We think Kristin has anything but an “ordinary life” as she juggles being a mom to two adorable girls and being a full-time student!
Your life doesn’t seem to “fit” your blog name “Our Ordinary Life.” You are a mom to a toddler and a newborn and you are a full time college student. That’s a lot to fit into 24 hours. How do you balance it all?
I have a lot of help. Luckily my husband Del is very supportive. He’s my real secret to managing it all. Although my life is pretty ordinary, we like simple things and a lot of family time. My dream of finishing college doesn’t really take away from my family. When I’m not home Del is. Don’t get me wrong, some days aren’t easy but that’s life – as ordinary as it is.
How would you say your life as a mom has impacted your style of learning in college & how you approach your degree?
I didn’t really notice the change until last term. I took a public speaking class and we were asked to address certain topics. Right away I noticed that every topic I picked had to do with my children – my future dreams and wishes for them. Without realizing it I take my family into every situation I am in, whether that is a classroom or not. My style of learning is cramming. I guess I’m so used to cramming everything in so it works for me. Most days anyway!
When do you graduate and what do you plan to do after graduation?
I just want to live the dream & have a career that I love. I hope to get an internship at a local public relations firm. I entered college not knowing what I wanted to do, but my blog quickly guided my decision. I like promoting products and coming up with new ideas. I started my blog before public relation firms started massively approaching bloggers. I was the one who taught other bloggers that we were considered press. Behind the scenes I gave away all the secrets, but I’ve learned so much and continue to learn. I like sharing my solutions with others. I hope to take my experiences with my blog and social media into my career.
We are sure you have had your ups and downs as you struggle to keep up with college work, raise your children and keep your house in order. With all these challenges, what has been your greatest joy of motherhood?
Watching my children grow. As sad as it is to see them grow so fast it’s such a rewarding experience. Brooklin, my youngest is now at the age where she is really getting into everything. I just love this age, and my oldest Kaila is all about being the big sister. Watching them together has to be my greatest joy.
Have you had an “Ah-ha” mom moment that you can share with us?
The day I realized I didn’t know it all. That my parenting is not perfect, and I don’t know all the answers. Realizing that in many ways has helped me to relax as a mother; my children have more fun and I do too.
Any advice to fellow moms and dads who may be in your situation of juggling studies and parenthood?
Have support. My husband picks up the vacuum and takes the kids out of the house. I don’t have to tell him or beg for his help. We just work together and that works for us. I guess that pertains to more than just studies, but really without all the help I couldn’t do it all.
What’s the one thing that never gets checked off your “to do” list?
My inbox and desktop. It’s always a mess! I am very unorganized so my email and desktop reflect that.
If you had a “free day” with no commitments or obligations, what would you do with it?
I’d spend time online commenting. It’s so important to connect with others online and sadly I don’t do it enough. I’m not so much of a girly girl and I don’t waste money, so things like spa days just are not me. The spa just wouldn’t be something I would do. I swear, it seems like every time I sit down to read a blog someone needs something. I’d totally like to spend my day connecting with others!
What is your favorite time of day?
I’m going to do the traditional mommy answer…nighttime! Del and I just hang out alone in the quiet. We often work on things together and I like it. It’s so important for parents to get time together with no children. That’s our time!
What’s your favorite “no-fuss” meal that you fall back on when things are really hectic?
Pizza! I love pizza, my children love pizza. Del stands it because we like it so much. Pizza is just always a win, win.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Soda! It’s such a bad habit, but it’s my thing. I’ve really tried to not buy any, but just one Coke a day. Like I said – it’s my thing.
Thanks Kristin. We enjoyed getting to know you more!
You can imagine the excitement at Kolcraft when we came across Grandparents.com – a rich resource for Grandparents (and parents) of all ages. It covers a vast array of topics of interest to Grandparents, has expert advice, activities, contests, deals and more. If you haven’t seen the site, stop by for a few minutes and check it out. You’ll be happy that you did.
Leave a comment and share your ideas and ways that your children interact with their Grandparents!
It’s our first Mom Monday here at Baby Matters! Mom Mondays are Kolcraft’s chance to “brag” about moms (and dads too!) who have inspired us. Through these interviews we hope to create a place where parents and caregivers can network, be inspired and exchange parenting ideas.
We had the chance to “sit down” with Jackie who is the author of Monkey Mayhem blog. Jackie gave us insight into her life as wife to her wonderful husband Jeff and a mom to 3 active and beautiful children all while raising a new pug puppy and cat! We were grateful to have a few minutes of her busy day.
Jackie, you are the creator of Monkey Mayhem blog. Interesting name – how did you come up with Monkey Mayhem and why did you first start to blog?
I came up with Monkey Mayhem because I’ve always loved monkeys…and my house is seriously like mayhem! Plus my kids act like monkeys – they climb on anything and everything.
I started blogging when I first heard Kristin from Our Ordinary Life talk about her blog on a mommy forum we were both members of. It sounded cool to work with awesome companies and try out different products for them.
Have you been able to connect with other moms through your blog? How has this helped (or not helped) you?
Oh yes! I’ve met a lot of moms. I chat on Skype a lot and it’s all mommy bloggers I talk to. They are all awesome and we help each other with our blogs and sometimes parenting advice too. I also have some moms who comment on my blog when I talk about my family, giving me advice when dealing with my son who has behavior issues and a speech delay. I also get a lot of comments with support from other moms when I’m having issues or just need to let it all out or when I need other “mommy” advice.
We have been able to meet Jeffery, Jaylin & Jaxon on your blog. What has been your greatest joy of motherhood?
Watching them learn new things, knowing that I taught them everything they know (well mostly lol). With Jeffery and Jaylin they both have a significant speech delay, so every day I hear a new word out of their mouth I am overjoyed! Even though Jaxon is my 3rd baby, when he learns something new like smiling or rolling over it’s just as exciting as watching my 1st born do it.
How about your biggest challenge?
That would be Jeffery…simple. LOL! He has the speech delay, and now behavior issues we are trying to get under control. He is a lot like his mama! Stubborn, but a little more….what’s the word….evil? LOL! Seriously I love all my kids, but he’s proving to be a challenge. Jaylin is a laid-back kid…loves to please…and Jaxon I haven’t figured out his personality yet.
You have some great reviews of various products on your blog. What would you say is the “must have” baby product?
There are a ton! The one I didn’t get for review was our baby swing…that is a lifesaver! Next would be our playard (which happens to be Kolcraft made Jeep brand!) I wish I would have had that when Jaxon was first born, but we got it just the other month and it gets plenty of use! Oh, I can’t forget the baby carrier I use all the time, Sleepy Wrap! I reviewed that and LOVE it when we’re on the go!
Any advice for first-time parents?
Be patient. The sleepless nights don’t last forever. Trust your instinct and don’t be afraid to call the pediatrician or nurse line at midnight if you are really worried!
Now for a quick glance into Jackie’s life.
What is the book currently by your bedside? My notebook for my blog actually. I also usually keep a Beverly Barton book by my bed. She writes murder mystery/romance books and I can usually go through one of her 400 page books in about 2-3days. I’m just waiting on her newest book to come out…
What’s your favorite holiday? Christmas…always has been! I love giving gifts and now that I have kids, I love watching them open their gifts and seeing the joy on their faces!
If you could take 3 movies to a desert island, what would they be? The Simpsons Movie, and all the Fast & Furious movies with Vin Diesel and Paul Walker in them (the 1st and then the most recent one).
You favorite saying? Awesome!
What’s always in your fridge? Cherry Dr Pepper, milk, juice and lunchables!
We enjoyed getting to know Jackie. Head over to her Monkey Mayhem blog for her Monday Mingle and other informative product reviews and parenting lessons.